Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) was first chartered in 1871 as the Indiana Normal School. The groundwork was laid by Pennsylvania's Normal School Act, which established privately-funded teachers’ colleges to push a certain set of “norms” for U.S. educators. With only 225 students during its first year, IUP underwent a gradual expansion over the next few decades. In 1927, the Indiana Normal School became Indiana State College, and by 1965, it had grown enough to be awarded university status. Indiana University of Pennsylvania received its accreditation to grant doctorates in 1982, making it the only school with that distinction in the Pennsylvania state college system.
At the center of IUP’s campus is the iconic Oak Grove, a tree-filled walkway filled with native Pennsylvania plants and wildlife where students congregate, relax, and pass through on their way to all ends of IUP. Nearby, the other central anchor is the red-brick Victorian mansion, Sutton Hall, which once housed all the Indiana Normal School’s classes. Today, it’s a part of the National Register of Historic Places and hosts administrative offices and school functions.
An assortment of Sutton Hall-style red-brick Victorian buildings make up the classrooms and facilities spread out across the rest of campus. IUP also has its own planetarium, and the fairly isolated western Pennsylvania locale makes it easy to study the stars. Seventies-style dorms pack in mostly freshman residents, although IUP administrators have promised to raze and renovate student housing in the near future.
After the coal-mining industry moved out of Indiana, PA, the town’s primary focus shifted from industrial to collegiate. While it’s fairly isolated from Pennsylvania’s major cities (the closest, Pittsburgh, is about an hour’s drive away), Indiana offers a limited array of college fare, including a tiny mall, a bowling alley, movie theaters, and a handful of bars and restaurants, including IUP student favorite the Pita Pit. IUP students are used to creating their own fun, however, and they recommend turning to Indiana’s natural resources for a good time. Local parks like Blue Spruce, Pine Ridge, and Buttermilk Falls provide plenty of opportunities to hike, swim, fish, camp, and enjoy the great outdoors.
The spread-out nature of IUP’s student body doesn’t lend itself to many well-established traditions, except, of course, for that one thing most students can agree on: drinking. On the last Saturday of every semester, those who are about to graduate rally together for the Senior Bar Crawl.
Another campus mainstay is the annual Homecoming parade, for which different student organizations create and sell original t-shirt designs to support a variety of causes. Those groups also express their creativity and social awareness by participating in Chalk the Walk: students get unlimited access to surfaces in the Oak Grove on which they compete for prizes for the best chalk-work.
Chad Hurley (1999) is a co-founder of YouTube.
Nellie Bly (didn’t graduate)was a turn-of-the-century globe-trotting journalist.
John Murtha (didn’t graduate) is a U.S. Congressman.
Patricia Robertson (1985) is a NASA astronaut.
John Stuchell Fisher (1886) was a former governor of Pennsylvania.
IUP is a Division II school with eight varsity sports for men (football, basketball, baseball, cross-country, golf, swimming, indoor and outdoor track) and eleven for the women (basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, cross country, volleyball, and indoor and outdoor track and field). IUP has sent several teams and individuals to NCAA post-season competition in their league—-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference-—including a traditionally well-respected presence for its football team at the top of the Division II rankings. For students not interested in committing to the Crimson Hawks to get their game on, there are a handful of club sports to participate in, including a paint-ball team.
Sutton Hall is allegedly haunted.
In addition to its more academic offerings, IUP also operates a culinary institute and police academy.
The closing of the University School, which taught in a laboratory setting modeled after famous librarian John Dewey’s, meant that IUP could no longer claim actor Jimmy Stewart as an alum.
The newly constructed suites on campus (Suites on Grant and Suites on Maple) have seemed to become the major residence halls on campus. The suites offer six different living options: a two-person shared semi-suite; a four-person shared suite; a two-person shared suite; a two-person private suite with private bathrooms; a two-person private semi-suite; and a four-person private suite. Each room has at least one individual bathroom, a kitchen with a microwave and refrigerator included, internet connection, air conditioning and heat and facilities that have laundry and trash disposal availability. The buildings also include study lounges and lounge areas for residents to sit and spend time with one another.
"The dorms, old and new (composed of Scranton, Lawrence, Shafer, Elkin, Esch, and Wallace), are the most popular housing options on campus. The traditional dorms are the most affordable, however. They include a laundry and trash disposal facility and study lounges on every floor. Freshmen can still gain that college experience in the old residence halls.
"Another on-campus living option are the Campus Towers and University Towers apartments. They are on-campus apartments that are co-ed door to door. They are also somewhat expensive but are more convenient for students who do not wish to live off campus and do not wish to live in the residence halls.